The general regulatory framework applicable for import of electrical and electronic products to South Korea is based on Safety, EMC, Telecom, Energy Efficiency Approvals, and RoHS requirements.
The Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS) is a National Standards Body of the Republic of Korea. It is responsible for the harmonization of Korean Industrial Standards (KS) with international standards, management of the national legal metrology system, and accreditation of certification bodies and testing laboratories.
In 2009, Korean authorities initiated a new certification system “KC” (Korea Certification) for electronic and electrical products which has become a mandatory accreditation system. To obtain the “KC” Mark—a mandatory mark issued by an accredited body—products that are in the scope of the KC system must fulfill:
The Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS) accredits the certification bodies, manage and monitor certification bodies through the National Accreditation body—the Korea Laboratory Accreditation Scheme (KOLAS)—and operates with accrediting organizations such as KAS (Korea Accreditation System) and KAB (Korea Accreditation Board).
The “KC Safety” is a mandatory Korean Certification System according to Electrical Appliances Safety Control Act consists of:
The Korean authority initiated a new “KC” safety system in 2009 for all electronic and electrical products and components that utilize an input AC or DC voltage equal to, or less than, 1000V. Under the system, there are three certification schemes which depend on a specific electronic and electrical product type categorized as:
South Korea requires that manufacturers of all products subject to legally compulsory certification bear the KC Certification Mark prior to selling their products in Korea. Once a product has received KC Safety Certification, the KC Mark and product certificate number must be printed on the product.
Example of the KC Mark:
Telecom and EMC requirements
The Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (MSIP) is an EMC/RF/Telecom authority that conducts EMC and wireless communication certification. KC certification is issued by Korea’s National Radio Research Agency (RRA) and requires testing at an RRA-approved laboratory.
The “KC RF+EMC” is a mandatory system and is divided into three schemes of conformity assessment. An applicable scheme depends on the product.
Once a product has received the KC approval, the KC Mark and identification mark must be printed on the product.
Example of the KC Mark:
According to Rule 2018-13, the new Identification mark format is R-CS-ABC-XXXXXXXXXXXXXX. This rule will have a transition period until June 30, 2019.
1 - “R” is an identificator of broadcasting and communication equipment.
2 - “С” is an authentication field identification number. The certification field depends on a certification scheme. The identification number can be:
“С” - certification
“R” - registration
“I” - interim
3 - Empty (nothing) in code means new applications. “S” can be used only in case of conformity certification or conformity registration for the same equipment as basic authentification information.
4 - “ABC” is an applicant identification code given by the Director.
5 - “XXXXXXXXXXXXXX” is an applicant's "Product Identification Code (English, number, hyphen (-), underbar (_). The applicant must be listed and can be determined within 14 digits.
Energy Efficiency requirements
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) and the Korea Energy Management Corporation (KEMCO) are key organizations that implement energy efficiency standards and labeling. The MOTIE drafts policy and regulations on energy efficiency standards and labeling. The KEMCO implements and operates them.
Korea’s energy efficiency management was drafted by the MOTIE notification based on the Rational Energy Utilization Act. It is divided into three programs. The MOTIE has delegated its rights to the KEMCO to operate these three major energy efficiency programs:
The Act for Resource Recycling of Electrical and Electronic Equipment and Vehicles (commonly known as Korean RoHS) entered into force on January 1, 2008.
Korea RoHS applies to televisions, refrigerators, mobile phones (including batteries and chargers), washing machines (for household use only), personal computers (including monitors and keyboards), audio equipment (except portable audio), air-conditioners, printers, copiers, and fax machines.
Certain products such as batteries, medical devices, and packing materials are out of the scope of Korean RoHS. Regulated vehicles include passenger cars, vans, and trucks under 3.5 tons.
Korea RoHS currently restricts 6 hazardous substances in electronic and electrical products and 4 hazardous substances in vehicles:
Manufacturers and importers of electrical and electronic equipment and vehicles shall make self-declaration of product's compliance with the concentration limits of hazardous substances.
Note that neither certification of the absence of restricted substances nor labeling of products is required. There are specific requirements under Korea RoHS for electrical and electronic equipment and vehicles that manufacturers and importers must comply with.
The information has been prepared by the GMA Consult Group team.
GMA Consult Group provides a full cycle of international type approval and global market access services for IT, Telecom and industrial electrical products in all countries throughout the world. With proven expertise in worldwide regulations, compliance, certification, and conformity assessment, GMA Consult Group can help your company speed up the access to any market with almost zero efforts from your side.
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